The Dinah Shore Weekend...A Party with a Purpose

by Kali Londono

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Friday April 5, 2013

Club Skirts The Dinah Shore, the largest girl party and music festival in the world has partnered with The Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization. Being dubbed as: A Party With A Purpose, Mariah Hanson, founder of the Dinah elaborated on the new partnership by saying, "We choose our beneficiaries carefully. It's important to us that any beneficiary is serving a wide diversity of lesbians and HRC is certainly representing all of us. They have inherently understood that the nature of the event is fun and so that any awareness raising we do must also be fun."

It seems to be a "mutually respectful" match made in heaven as, Zack Hasychak, Membership Outreach Manager at HRC's response to the partnership was: "We're at a unique opportunity. There's so much happening right now with the gay (LGBT) rights movement. My job is to really spread the word about HRC and the work we're doing as broadly as possible so it seemed like a perfect opportunity to tie-in this event that's totally fun with the purpose behind everything and why we're together - why we're able to get together like this." He added, "We do a series of women's events around the country known as HerHRC. It's all about providing visibility of HRC to thousands and thousands of women who will be there." In return to being The Dinah's beneficiary, the HRC is a full sponsor of the event.

Never one to be outdone, this year Mariah has upped the ante with the Party With A Purpose theme. On Saturday night, Apr. 6th, at the uber swanky "The Dinah Goes To Monte Carlo" affair, revelers can participate in the inaugural Celebrity Poker event where all the proceeds will go to the HRC. Why can you feel good about dealing out some dough to play? Zack at HRC with clear appreciation stated, "All of the proceeds raised that night is going back to fund really crucial work that we're doing across the country to advance our priorities of marriage equality, non-discrimination in employment, in schools and anti-bullying efforts."

Membership has its privileges

As a full sponsor, what kind of presence can we expect from HRC? Mariah detailed it as, "They receive the highest level of corporate sponsorship. They have 100% access to all marketing and branding opportunities. They receive 100% of gross proceeds of the Celebrity Poker which in its inaugural year will be modest but we hope to grow it into a substantial donation." She continued by saying, "HRC will be hosting a special soiree during the weekend, giving Dinah goers the opportunity to meet, mingle, network and celebrate with their favorite celebrities and "celesbians," and get involved with the HRC team in attendance. HRC will also be present throughout the entire weekend with an information kiosk at all pool parties offering pamphlets and other literature to all attendees who wish to learn more about HRC's efforts and/or join the movement."

"Our logo has grown to become a symbol of the movement. Yet there are those that have no idea it is a symbol of the organization fighting for our human rights." Zack answered then added, "My job is engaging folks on the ground, getting them familiar with the work of HRC. Some people think that we're just this political organization and don't realize we have educational programs. We have an anti-bullying program that's been piloted in several school districts across America. It teaches inclusiveness at a very early age, that not all families look the same. It's about becoming 'accepting'." Summing up their participation, Zack explained, "We're happy to be able to provide an educational and political element. If you leave knowing two things more about the gay (LGBT) world than you did before, that's effective."

Aside from having the best time, what does Mariah want the crowd to take away this year? "A sense of community and a sense of joy. We're all in this together and for five days we come together and our differences melt away. Women reach across all boundaries to embrace the celebratory experience that is The Dinah and in effect, each other. It changes people." Mariah goes one further with, "It's hard for those of us who have the freedom to walk the streets holding hands and kissing our partner to fathom the fact that our lifestyle is not the same for a majority of others but rather is the exception. We take for granted the fact that our reality is still a dream many wish would come true."

Party for Equal Rights

Although this year's Dinah finds itself evolving, you will never find scrutiny here. In Mariah's words, "What the Dinah offers is a glimpse of what life would be if everyone was accepting of each other - no matter what the size of their body, the color of their skin and/or the tax bracket they belong to - and, on an universal scale, how perfect the world would be if we could all be free to feel free!"

As for the Dinah and HRC's goal for continuing the party with a purpose movement both sides are equally positive with Mariah saying, "I've enjoyed working with them (HRC) and believe we will renew this relationship for years to come." Reciprocating the respect, Zack added, "We really thank the Dinah (and Mariah) for becoming a great partner to work with, for giving us the opportunity to be at this event. I think it's going to be a great partnership in the making."

When asked where Mariah sees the Dinah in five years, "Our five-year plan is already in the works! This year we're moving the Dinah downtown in the heart of the action, and introducing the inaugural block party concept - the "one ticket for two pool parties" admission offering customers the unique and fun opportunity to travel through two different ambiances and to fully experience the legendary Dinah Shore Pool Parties. One ticket gets Dinah goers into everything: pay once, play over multiple days!"

It remains and will retain the esteemed reputation of embracing the joie de vivre our community comes to experience for one magical week once a year in Palm Springs. It's not too late to experience it for yourself.

For tickets and more information go to